Abbas requests a review of the 1994 Paris Protocol amid pressure from protesters to cancel PA-Israeli economic agreement.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Monday said that Israel will reject Palestinian requests to update the 1994 Paris Protocol, the framework that established economic relations between Israel and the PA, Israel Radio reported.
Palestinians have huge debts to Israel, and yet they are operating against it in international organizations, Ayalon said.
“There is no room to fix it when there is no progress in the political channel, and the Palestinians have huge debts to Israel for transferring gas and electricity, for example,” he said.
Over the past week, PA President Abbas has come under pressure from many Palestinians to cancel the Paris Protocol under the pretext that it imposes severe restrictions on the development of the Palestinian economy.
The Paris Protocol set Israeli sea and air ports and border crossings with Jordan and Egypt as paths for Palestinian trade with other countries.
Hassan Khreisheh, an independent legislator, said that changing the Paris Protocol has become a popular demand that the PA leadership can no longer ignore.
The PA’s request came as Palestinians continued to stage protests in various parts of the West Bank against the high cost of living.
Demonstrations took place in Nablus and Ramallah Sunday, where Palestinians chanted slogans against Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Abbas and called for their resignation.
The protesters blocked main roads in the two cities and vowed to continue demonstrating until the two PA leaders resigned.
Until now, protesters had only demanded the resignation of Fayyad.
Palestinians on Monday also held a one-day strike of public transportation in the West Bank Monday to protest against an increase in the price of fuel and basic goods.
“This is just the beginning,” said cab driver Ahmed Samara from Ramallah. “The Palestinian Authority has failed and must go.”
Hanna Amireh, a senior PLO official in the West Bank, warned that the PA could lose control if the protests continued.
Noting that the crisis was severe, he urged donor countries to quickly help the PA to prevent further deterioration.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=284486